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Militant Anti-Fascism, etc

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Thunk
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Feb 17 2009 15:51
Militant Anti-Fascism, etc

First off, don't get me wrong. I don't agree with fascists and I like the idea that anarchists are willing to step up to protect immigrant communities and whatnot when the authorities fail to do so (or worse, when they engage in the harassment themselves).

But I'm not really following when it comes to this antifa stuff. How can it be "anti-authoritarian" to target people for their political views (as twisted as they may be)? I'm trying to read up on how the antifa movement works. It is based partially on directly confronting fascist groups, smashing their cars, throwing bricks at their bodyguards, etc. But isn't that authoritarian in itself? If someone is a fascist (or for that matter, a state socialist or a racist or a homphobe or a nativist or something), then they may have abhorrent views, but abhorrent views are not the same as the exercise of said views. If you threaten to attack someone based on their views, then isn't that basically like thoughtcrime?

I'm a very strong opponent of so-called "hate speech legislation" that the Europeans have, and I'm plenty happy with the fact that the 1st amendment protects even the dumbest of fucks in the USA. As much as I am not a Constitutionalist I admit I do like that part of it. If fascists want to have parades, let them. I don't see how assuming authority over someone else's mind or speech is at all anti-authoritarian.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but Antifa does not act when there is reason to believe fascists are plotting to harm someone; they attack people solely on the basis of their fascist views. As much as I think bottom-up organizations that seek to protect the innocent from thugs (whether they be fascist thugs or just regular old muggers and rapists and whatnot) are a good idea and a nice alternative to a state that institutionalizes oppressive practices, racism, etc, I don't see the sense in attacking people for their views, and I don't see the value in associating with any movement that assumes the coercive authority to "correct" bad ideas by force.

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juozokas
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Feb 17 2009 15:59

ban

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juozokas
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Feb 17 2009 16:07

ok a serious response

anti-fascism is not exclusive to anarchism, a lot of people just dislike the fash because they are violent anti-social dickheads and occasionally need to be smashed back into their hole because that is the only language they understand

nazis are actually violent and they hurt people, it's beyond attacking people for their 'political views', they are dangerous psychos.

most of what you wrote is idealist bullshit

are you by any chance down with some national anarchist group because it stinks like it

ban not necessary you will leave soon anyway

Thunk
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Feb 17 2009 16:12

Wow, you call that a serious response?

Try again. Actually, no, please spare me. Anyone else? I don't think not presuming people to be violent based on their beliefs is "idealistic" at all. I think it's called presumption of innocence. It's also a matter of being against thought crime. It's also also a basic civil libertarian position and it works just fine in the US where hate crimes make up less than .1% of all violent crimes.

If "anarchists" believe in violently confronting Nazis I don't really see the difference. Perhaps difference in thought, no difference in actuality. Both are willing to attack innocents, and yes, a person with shitty views but no shitty actions is innocent.

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juozokas
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Feb 17 2009 16:12

seriously just get off your computer for a bit or something, go and find some nazi skinheads and let them know your anti authoritarian philosophy and then come back and post again when you are bleeding from the arse

Thunk
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Feb 17 2009 16:14
juozokas wrote:
seriously just get off your computer for a bit or something, go and find some nazi skinheads and let them know your anti authoritarian philosophy and then come back and post again when you are bleeding from the arse

Yeah pretty sure I asked for someone else's opinion considering you already exposed your own a large collection of fecal matter.

If these are your "serious" responses I can't wait to hear the silly ones.

No seriously though, anyone else have an actual opinion, argument, etc?

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juozokas
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Feb 17 2009 16:27

you are not an anarchist

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juozokas
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Feb 17 2009 16:40

nah what he has written is so idiotic he should be flamed hard

and it was enjoyable

Thunk
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Feb 17 2009 16:44
weeler wrote:
Thunk, stop acting like you are any better than the ppl trolling you.

Are you joking? I posted a meaningful topic and this dude just decides to start being a little bitch. Even Choccy is better than him. Seriously, not every discussion has to be a fight. I mean, look at the post above you. "You are not an anarchist". Is this how all discussions are here? I was learning a bit in the Max Stirner one and getting some good info in the other forums, even the debate about science was pretty enlightening. But this trolling shit is getting fucking annoying. Anyways, ignoring the ignorant, I'll continue to your actually meaningful response...

Quote:
Quite simply, fascism is an anti-working class movement, when they organise its to protect the interests of capital and usually people in the workers movement get killed. As such the no platform approach justifies using appropriate force to pro-actively defend social movement from fascists. The methods used against fash are usually relative to what stage of organising they are at - for example a basement fantasist isn't going to get his head caved in but an active member of a neo nazi group attacking people might. The lesson of history is that where these people organise revolutionaries are their initial targets and while I've a problem with the pathology of the Antifa movement, I have no problem with denying fash their right to organise. You seem to have a kind of bourgeois attachment to individual rights and freedoms.

A "bourgeois attachment to individual rights and freedoms". Genius. Yeah, you're right, let's throw those out. Are you serious? How can an anarchy not protect individual rights and freedoms? Isn't that the whole point? I still fail to see the difference, this sounds like complete apologism for political oppression.

And what about other equally disturbing views? There are plenty of Barack Obama supporters where I am. Barack Obama is/has killed a lot more innocent people than fascist skinheads have. Is it okay for me to go and beat up anyone who voted for Barack Obama? Or George Bush before him? Both of those administrations are anti-working class, both spy on and attack revolutionaries and dissidents, etc. Yet there is no guarantee that an active supporter of either is plotting.

If a fascist is plotting to actively harm someone then I see your point, and if a cogent group of fascists that operates like a gang or mob or something is causing problems, then I see no problem with what you are saying. They should not be allowed to organize in the same way assasins or murderers or rapists should not be allowed to make "murder clubs" or "rape clubs" or something like that.

But the line antifa is drawing is extremely vague. I don't see the "anarchism" in it at all, and to be quite honest your comment about the bourgeois nature of individual freedom is wigging me out.

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madashell
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Feb 17 2009 16:52

Thunk, hate speech legislation is a separate issue to millitant anti-fascism, which, while deeply limited in many ways, has its uses. Fascists organise in order to attack and intimidate "reds", ethnic minorities, migrant workers, queers and anybody else they don't like and/or to agitate for others to do so, preventing them from organising limits their ability to do so, which is a good thing in itself.

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Feb 17 2009 16:50
juozokas wrote:
you are not an anarchist
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madashell
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Feb 17 2009 16:53
Thunk wrote:
But the line antifa is drawing is extremely vague. I don't see the "anarchism" in it at all, and to be quite honest your comment about the bourgeois nature of individual freedom is wigging me out.

Serious question, do you have any understanding of the history, theory and practice of antifa?

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juozokas
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Feb 17 2009 16:55

what weeler means about bourgeois individual freedom is that you spend your time philosophizing about how best to protect fascists right to free speech rather then shit that is actually important

you are on the wrong forum, time to backpeddle or leave

Thunk
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Feb 17 2009 16:58
madashell wrote:
Thunk wrote:
It's also also a basic civil libertarian position and it works just fine in the US where hate crimes make up less than .1% of all violent crimes.

How do all these liberals keep arriving here and why do they suffer from delusions of anarchism?

Hate speech legislation is a separate issue to millitant anti-fascism, which, while deeply limited in many ways, has its uses. Fascists organise in order to attack and intimidate "reds", ethnic minorities, migrant workers, queers and anybody else they don't like and/or to agitate for others to do so, preventing them from organising limits their ability to do so, which is a good thing in itself.

I disagree that it is really any different. A law that is backed by force to criminalize ideas is no different practically speaking from using force to essentially do the same thing.

And I am not a liberal, nor am I not an anarchist. It is astonishing to see how much ignorance there is at this forum. My whole basis for this argument is that to forcefully prevent the peaceable promotion of a political ideology violates the central tenants of anarchism. It's the basics. I'm going off of what Bakunin said. I still fail to see how I am being inconsistent with the ideas, etc. Which part of anarchism am I violating, again, by suggesting that people not suddenly become legitimate targets for violence based solely on their opinions or views?

On the other hand you folks are starting to sound pretty fucking Orwellian. I see the point you are all making about fascists organizing to harass people. What I fail to understand is how holding or expressing right-wing views suddenly makes you complicit in a scheme to organize your comrades and attack ethnic minorities and leftists and whatnot.

And once again, I am not a fascist and many of the people I associate with outside of the internets are part of Madrid's antifascist network. I don't see a problem with what they are doing because here, like you guys are suggesting, the problem is not that fascists have their terrible views, but that they organize to assault and even murder people, often with police complicity. I don't mind at all that antifa would act to stop this. I am questioning whether or not the vague lines they draw suggest that they've gone too far.

Edit for the troll: Until I see how my views are really in anyway inconsistent with libertarian communism I have no plans to leave. I think free speech and individual freedoms for everyone, including fascists, are the "shit" that is actually important. On the other hand from everything I can gather you're not doing much to make sure your shit is coherent so from here on out I am just going to ignore your posts. I don't feel like having a flame war and it is not like you have the capacity to say anything meaningful like the other posters in this topic, so I know I'm not missing out on anything.

Thunk
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Feb 17 2009 17:08
madashell wrote:
Thunk wrote:
But the line antifa is drawing is extremely vague. I don't see the "anarchism" in it at all, and to be quite honest your comment about the bourgeois nature of individual freedom is wigging me out.

Serious question, do you have any understanding of the history, theory and practice of antifa?

I've done a bit of reading, and I know how it generally works in Madrid. I approve of Madrid's Coordinadora Antifascista, because, like I said, it seems based more on the idea of protecting the community rather than trying to actively pick fights with political opponents.

If I am mistaken about my views on antifa, please correct me. But from reading on how it works in England it seems like it's just a matter of targeting political opponents under the guise of "revolution".

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Feb 17 2009 17:08

Physically attacking someone based solely on their views is indeed abhorrent. If someone privately holds views that I find repellant, well, there's little I can or should do about that, unless I know them and can have a quiet word.

If they make those views public, then they open themselves to being challenged. If they articulate views I detest over a cup of tea, I'll tell them they're a pig-ignorant fuckwit, but ultimately they have the right to hold that view, and to limited articulation.

Free speech isn't some inalienable right assigned uncritically to all views. Views whose goal is precisely to deny the right to free speech to others should get no shelter under thge umbrella of free speech.
'Your right to free speech ends where another's begins'

But as Weeler says, when they attempt to organise they should be opposed, often physically.
I have no hard-on for Antifa type shite myself, but I'm not in the least bit worried about neonazi marches getting bricks lobbed on them. When they movement they stand for is one that by definition would deny others the right to freedom of speech, they lose their own claims for protection.

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Feb 17 2009 17:09

Bakunin died in 1876, if he was around today he would agree with me. He was not a pussy or a liberal.

The point is it I prefer if they're scared of us and scared to organise in public, and especially scared to walk around stabbing people for the way they look.

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Feb 17 2009 17:10
Thunk wrote:
But the line antifa is drawing is extremely vague. I don't see the "anarchism" in it at all, and to be quite honest your comment about the bourgeois nature of individual freedom is wigging me out.

Why? Anarchism isn't about extending democratic rights as far as they can go, its about creating a stateless socialist society out of the self-activity of the working class. We're not in the business of defending capitalist "democracy", we're in the business of creating a strong working class, as this poses, eventually, the destruction of capitalism as class antagonism is inherent to capitalism. Meaningful "democracy" isn't possible within capitalism, and "democracy" as an ideology is a weapon against us. We want democratic forms within the workers movement and a future anarchist/communist society (use of mass assemblies, delegation, committees etc, and off in the future workers' councils as the basis for replacing the state). This is something very different to liberal democracy as a way of organising the capitalist state.

Individual freedom isn't bourgeois, but thinking that we shouldn't stomp Nazis because its "oppressive" is. I'm happy to remove the "right" of the bourgeoisie to own property and employ workers. In a revolutionary situation I'd happily deny the capitalist press the right to free speech by appropriating their machines and infrastructure. Similarly I'm happy to ignore the "right" of fascists to organise to crush the workers movement and eliminate queer and non-white friends of mine.

I'd say the serious criticisms of militant anti-fascism are that it fetishises one (minor) racist, divisive capitalist faction at the expense of those with actual power, such as the Labour party, and takes up more time and energy than its worth. But its vital that we defend ourselves, as we're always amongst the first target of these creeps when they're in any position to throw their weight around. And organising against racism and other divisive bigotry is an important part of our politcs. So there are both positive and negative sides to antifa stuff, and I'm in two minds about a lot of it.

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Feb 17 2009 17:15
Thunk wrote:
Are you joking? I posted a meaningful topic and this dude just decides to start being a little bitch. Even Choccy is better than him.

I am the only person that has directly addressed every point you've made quoting you in your entirety. Drop the canard that you are being trolled. Most thread on here, if you bothered looking, aren't like this. Interestingly every one with yourself in it is. Common denominator.

Thunk
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Feb 17 2009 17:15
Choccy wrote:
Physically attacking someone based solely on their views is indeed abhorrent. If someone privately holds views that I find repellant, well, there's little I can or should do about that, unless I know them and can have a quiet word.

If they make those views public, then they open themselves to being challenged. If they articulate views I detest over a cup of tea, I'll tell them they're a pig-ignorant fuckwit, but ultimately they have the right to hold that view, and to limited articulation.

Free speech isn't some inalienable right assigned uncritically to all views. Views whose goal is precisely to deny the right to free speech to others should get no shelter under thge umbrella of free speech.
'Your right to free speech ends where another's begins'

But as Weeler says, when they attempt to organise they should be opposed, often physically.
I have no hard-on for Antifa type shite myself, but I'm not in the least bit worried about neonazi marches getting bricks lobbed on them. When they movement they stand for is one that by definition would deny others the right to freedom of speech, they lose their own claims for protection.

I mean, I generally agree with this view and if someone were to tell me they did not believe in free speech or rights for those they didn't like, such as a fascist, I would counter back that there is no real reason that they, the fascist, should have the right to free speech if it is not extended universally.

Of course, I would also say the same thing to any "anarchist" who, for one reason or another wanting to sound authoritarian, believes that freedom of speech should not be extended to those whom he disagreed with.

You're right, one person's right to free speech ends where another's begins. I fail to see, though, how pure speech can really trample on freedom. Nobody's free speech is under threat if a fascist says "I hate immigrants" or "let's jail dissidents". On the other hand, if he acts or threatens to act on these ideas, then yes. Outside of interrupting each other, I don't really see how one person's speech alone could ever trample on another's right to free speech. Perhaps you have an example?

Thunk
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Feb 17 2009 17:17
Choccy wrote:
Thunk wrote:
Are you joking? I posted a meaningful topic and this dude just decides to start being a little bitch. Even Choccy is better than him.

I am the only person that has directly addressed every point you've made quoting you in your entirety. Drop the canard that you are being trolled. Most thread on here, if you bothered looking, aren't like this. Interestingly every one with yourself in it is. Common denominator.

Dude we both know there is nothing in this thread that warrants trolling. We both know he is being a prick. It's that simple.

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Feb 17 2009 17:28

It seems you are living in some sort of fantasy land where you can walk around saying deeply offensive and abhorrent things to people and you won't get smacked in the mouth for it. Life doesn't actually work that way. Free speech doesn't cover you from that.

Thunk
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Feb 17 2009 17:31
juozokas wrote:
It seems you are living in some sort of fantasy land where you can walk around saying deeply offensive and abhorrent things to people and you won't get smacked in the mouth for it. Life doesn't actually work that way. Free speech doesn't cover you from that.

Sure, sure. Anyways, I'm still waiting for that "serious" post to come along.

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Feb 17 2009 17:43

.

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Feb 17 2009 17:34
Thunk wrote:
Of course, I would also say the same thing to any "anarchist" who, for one reason or another wanting to sound authoritarian, believes that freedom of speech should not be extended to those whom he disagreed with.

Freedom of speech means nothing if it isn't freedom to views that you disagree with. But views that undermine the very notiont of free-speech by advancing programmes that deny others that right do not fall under the remit of defending free-speech, because they are, by defintion, anti-free-speech.

Quote:
You're right, one person's right to free speech ends where another's begins. I fail to see, though, how pure speech can really trample on freedom. Nobody's free speech is under threat if a fascist says "I hate immigrants" or "let's jail dissidents". On the other hand, if he acts or threatens to act on these ideas, then yes. Outside of interrupting each other, I don't really see how one person's speech alone could ever trample on another's right to free speech. Perhaps you have an example?

Anti-working-class, racist, anti-immigrant, homophobic etc etc type activity does not start in a vacuum. It starts precisely when people organise to advance views that are precisely those that undermine the rights of specific groups. Views aren';t just words coming out of a mouth, they have motivations and effects in the real-world. Sure, if a nutter says shit in hsi house then we ought not to give a fuck, if he says it to a room full of people potentially malleable to repellant views then anyone in a position to stop this should be supported in doing so.

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Feb 17 2009 17:37
Thunk wrote:
juozokas wrote:
It seems you are living in some sort of fantasy land where you can walk around saying deeply offensive and abhorrent things to people and you won't get smacked in the mouth for it. Life doesn't actually work that way. Free speech doesn't cover you from that.

Sure, sure. Anyways, I'm still waiting for that "serious" post to come along.

Actually to be fair, juozakas is right, you seem to think that even words themselves don't have real-world effects. They do.
Personally there are some views, which if articulated in public, do definitely deserve a smack in the gob.

Thunk
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Feb 17 2009 17:50
Choccy wrote:
Thunk wrote:
Of course, I would also say the same thing to any "anarchist" who, for one reason or another wanting to sound authoritarian, believes that freedom of speech should not be extended to those whom he disagreed with.

Freedom of speech means nothing if it isn't freedom to views that you disagree with. But views that undermine the very notiont of free-speech by advancing programmes that deny others that right do not fall under the remit of defending free-speech, because they are, by defintion, anti-free-speech.

I fail to see why being anti-free-speech is wrong under a system which promotes free speech. I mean, "free speech" isn't just a word, it is the idea that you are the sole sovereign controller of what comes out of your mouth. If what comes out of your mouth is "I hate free speech" then so be it.

Quote:
You're right, one person's right to free speech ends where another's begins. I fail to see, though, how pure speech can really trample on freedom. Nobody's free speech is under threat if a fascist says "I hate immigrants" or "let's jail dissidents". On the other hand, if he acts or threatens to act on these ideas, then yes. Outside of interrupting each other, I don't really see how one person's speech alone could ever trample on another's right to free speech. Perhaps you have an example?

Anti-working-class, racist, anti-immigrant, homophobic etc etc type activity does not start in a vacuum. It starts precisely when people organise to advance views that are precisely those that undermine the rights of specific groups. Views aren';t just words coming out of a mouth, they have motivations and effects in the real-world. Sure, if a nutter says shit in hsi house then we ought not to give a fuck, if he says it to a room full of people potentially malleable to repellant views then anyone in a position to stop this should be supported in doing so.

I agree, but I'm not sure why libertarians would think that the appropriate response is to assume a similar amount of control. Perhaps the better idea would be to challenge those views. If people are really so easily manipulated then it shouldn't be difficult.

As far as punching people for their views, to be honest, if I punched somebody for saying something I didn't like I'd feel like a total hypocrite. I don't think it is ever really appropriate to hit someone over their views. Seems like something people do out of emotion rather than behaving rationally or civilly.

GTG will continue this later.

Also, with the exception fo teh troll, I would like to apologize to anyone whom I may have offended, however the hell I managed that. I seriously just want to discuss antifa.

Ex-temp
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Feb 17 2009 17:59

juozokas - this is a non flaming forum, and a new user asked a polite question.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with the person, personal abuse is not permitted in these forums. If you disagree with someone, please voice your views politely.

There is been so much abuse now on this thread I'm tempted to move this to libcommunity - what do people think?

On the initial question, thunk, while I have political disagreements with anti-fascism as Django outlined (because I think they are sideshow villains, actually the real problems are caused by governments/bosses), anti-fascists don't go around attacking people just for their views. They don't attack fascists getting their shopping. It's when they are actively pushing fascist ideas.

If you cannot see the difference between violence against genocidal lunatics who want a dictatorship and are actively working towards this, and violence against people because of the colour of their skin or their sexuality, then I think you need to think a bit harder.

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Choccy
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Feb 17 2009 18:17

Don't get gung-ho, the majority of discussion bar one user has been on topic.

Thunk
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Feb 17 2009 19:48
Ex-temp wrote:
juozokas - this is a non flaming forum, and a new user asked a polite question.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with the person, personal abuse is not permitted in these forums. If you disagree with someone, please voice your views politely.

There is been so much abuse now on this thread I'm tempted to move this to libcommunity - what do people think?

On the initial question, thunk, while I have political disagreements with anti-fascism as Django outlined (because I think they are sideshow villains, actually the real problems are caused by governments/bosses), anti-fascists don't go around attacking people just for their views. They don't attack fascists getting their shopping. It's when they are actively pushing fascist ideas.

If you cannot see the difference between violence against genocidal lunatics who want a dictatorship and are actively working towards this, and violence against people because of the colour of their skin or their sexuality, then I think you need to think a bit harder.

Well obviously your opinions are different from your skin color or sex preferences and all the other superficial things, but somebody's sexual orientation is as much of a threat to me as someone's bad ideas...not at all.

Of course they will attack when they are pushing their fascist ideas, at no other time would you really be able to tell if someone is even a fascist. I don't think a guy talking about deporting immigrants, even if he is in a room full of like-minded nationalists, is doing something that justifies violence. On the other hand, if this group of people then hatches a plan to actually threaten, harass, and intimidate immigrants into leaving, perhaps then it is time to take action.

Other than that though, the examples given seem pretty shifty at best.

I still maintain that antifa and other groups are good because they are protecting their communities from thugs, but it is a fine line and a dangerous one to cross if the basis for weeding out threats is someone's political affiliation or something.

Also, still not quite sure why fascists are any different from Obama supporters...

Thunk
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Feb 17 2009 20:05
Django wrote:
Thunk wrote:
But the line antifa is drawing is extremely vague. I don't see the "anarchism" in it at all, and to be quite honest your comment about the bourgeois nature of individual freedom is wigging me out.

Why? Anarchism isn't about extending democratic rights as far as they can go, its about creating a stateless socialist society out of the self-activity of the working class. We're not in the business of defending capitalist "democracy", we're in the business of creating a strong working class, as this poses, eventually, the destruction of capitalism as class antagonism is inherent to capitalism. Meaningful "democracy" isn't possible within capitalism, and "democracy" as an ideology is a weapon against us. We want democratic forms within the workers movement and a future anarchist/communist society (use of mass assemblies, delegation, committees etc, and off in the future workers' councils as the basis for replacing the state). This is something very different to liberal democracy as a way of organising the capitalist state.

Uhh, yeah, didn't say anything about democracy so I'm not sure where you're going with this.

Quote:
Individual freedom isn't bourgeois, but thinking that we shouldn't stomp Nazis because its "oppressive" is. I'm happy to remove the "right" of the bourgeoisie to own property and employ workers. In a revolutionary situation I'd happily deny the capitalist press the right to free speech by appropriating their machines and infrastructure. Similarly I'm happy to ignore the "right" of fascists to organise to crush the workers movement and eliminate queer and non-white friends of mine.

Right but I am not talking about their right to organized crime and violence. I am talking solely about their views. For example, if a capitalist maintains that he has the right to exploit workers, that is fine; as long as he doesn't have the means to do it and an anarchist society prevents him from being able to do so, everything is fine. He can go sit at a bar and whine about how things used to be back in the days of exploitation. Big whoop.

If Antifa is picking fights with street thugs when there is no basis to the idea that the people they are fighting are actively committing acts of violence against innocent people other than the fact that they call themselves fascists or hold the strange view that such violence is okay, then antifa is not on par with a revolutionary group that takes away the rights of the capitalist or of the corporate press. If such is the case, then antifa has basically become a new coercive apparatus.

Quote:
I'd say the serious criticisms of militant anti-fascism are that it fetishises one (minor) racist, divisive capitalist faction at the expense of those with actual power, such as the Labour party, and takes up more time and energy than its worth. But its vital that we defend ourselves, as we're always amongst the first target of these creeps when they're in any position to throw their weight around. And organising against racism and other divisive bigotry is an important part of our politcs. So there are both positive and negative sides to antifa stuff, and I'm in two minds about a lot of it.

Yeah like I've been saying, I'm not saying that fighting fascists is always bad or that protecting the community from thugs is wrong. In fact, even if the thugs are not fascists, but even perhaps gangbangers or mafia men or whatever, it makes sense to have bottom-up organizations to fight them off. Good old fashioned DIY ethic. But at the same time I disagree with some of the ideas they have regarding what counts as a legitimate target. I think a lot of this stuff is just closet authoritarianism.